How Are Wire Cutters Used In Jewellery Making?

How Are Wire Cutters Used In Jewellery Making

Wire cutters are an essential tool for jewellery makers. However, there are so many different makes and models available to buy it’s hard to know where to start. If you’ve looked at a pair of cutters and had no idea what they’re used for, you wouldn’t be alone. It can be overwhelming. Here’s a guide to how wire cutters are used in jewellery making < and some of the models you should consider.

What do they do?

Primarily wire cutters are designed to cut, well, wire. But they’re also designed to complete fine work instead of more generalised cutters used in automotive industries or for DIY at home. Those designed for jewellery making are used for cutting glass and metal with great precision and with a specific cutting action. Metals might include copper, silver or gold, brass, tin and other sheet metals.

Types of wire cutters

Most wire cutters come in a range of sizes. The smaller they are, the more delicate the function. However, larger cutters will give you greater leverage when working with larger or harder substances. In addition to different sizes, there are various cutting heads to consider. Each of these wire cutters has a specific purpose.

Flush cutters

Flush cutters have an angled (diagonal) jaw and create an even cut for a clean look. They’re good for head pins, beading wire and hard wire wrapping.

Side cutters

Side cutters have a non-flush jaw with a normal cut quality. Ideal for soft wire wrapping and some precious metals.

Glass cutters

Glass cutters Unlike other cutters, these have a wheel-shaped cutting edge that runs across glass and ceramics. The unique design allows for different cut qualities: straight, angled, circular or edge.

End-cutting nippers

End-cutting nippers A flat jaw shape with normal cut quality, ‘nippers’ are designed for snipping posts from ear studs or trimming the peg of a flat pad. Quality models have polished heads that limit surface damage on soft metals.

Shears Like nippers

Shears Like nippers, shears will help you with head pins and hard wire but also cutting sheets and precious metals. They have a rounded jaw shape and, importantly, a straight-cut quality.

Stringing wire nippers

Stringing wire nippers When cutting reinforced thread wire, you’ll need these beauties. They have an angled jaw shape and a flush-cut quality.

Memory wire shears

Memory wire shears are specific wire cutters used to cut through hard or steel memory wire. The jaw shape is round, the cut quality is straight.


There’s no one-size-fits-all when using wire cutters in jewellery making. You’ll need a different tool for different tasks and when working on different kinds of material. There are also many brands to choose from, so shop around, remembering that the best price won’t always get you the best cutter. And don’t forget that wire cutters are a staple in jewellery making. You’ll be using them a lot, so they need to feel comfortable and do the hard work for you (not the other way around).

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